Andre Arendse pays tribute to Bafana’s Grant Johnson, Ronwen Williams

Andre Arendse pays tribute to Bafana’s Grant Johnson, Ronwen Williams

Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and 1996 AFCON winner Andre Arendse has paid tribute to two other shot stoppers in Grant Johnson and Ronwen Williams.

The trio worked closely together at SuperSport United over the years, but most recently Johnson – the Bafana and United goalie coach – and Williams brought home the bronze medal from Cote d’Ivoire.

Arendse shared that their relationship tells a story of how there are no short cuts in developing talent from an early age.  

"If I take Ronwen as an example, that is a success story that [proves] development can never have a price to it, and Ronwen is a typical example of the fact that development doesn't happen overnight," said Arendse.

"Coach Grant will be the first to tell you that he first worked with Ronwen at the age of 12, so that's a sort-of lifetime, if you like, in development."

Arendse is the SuperSport assistant coach to Gavin Hunt and has also been part of William’s journey prior to the player’s move to Mamelodi Sundowns in July 2022. 

But he gives a lot more credit to his colleague Johnson, a former keeper at the highest level himself having played for Manning Rangers and Orlando Pirates.

"The pleasing story about that is almost as if it's come full circle, if I look at the relationship between Ronwen and Grant Johnson – where they started off together and now they're winning podium places in the biggest tournament in African football," he added.

"That for me has been a wonderful journey to see, with the two of them going [to where they are now]. I've been witness to that whole process, in terms of where it started and where Ronwen has grown to.

"And Ronwen has proved that, if you keep going, you're going to get where you deserve to. Where's he now? He's the captain of our national team, and it's through that journey that he's not given up on."

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